Martin Criminale Seattle, WA - PATH projects KREW
I came to running from cycling. Up until the switch running was just "cross training" but after a bad fall in a mountain bike race where I separated my shoulder, cycling hurt more than running so I decided to pursue new challenges. Lucky for me some good friends or mine were very accomplished trail runners and soon my new focus became ultra distance trail events. I have identified as a runner since 2012 but still love riding bikes. These activities seem very complimentary and I'll always appreciate the silver lining of that cycling injury which was introducing me to this awesome sport of trail running.
Running accomplishment(s) you are proud of
In terms of results I'm very proud of my 1st place overall at the Bigfoot 100k in 2017 at the age of 53 and my sub 23 hour finish in my first 100-mile race at the Cascade Crest Endurance Run in 2013. In terms of life results I might be even more proud of checking off a couple of bucket list items in 2020 with sister. We ran around Mt Rainier on the Wonderland Trail and ran Section J of the Pacific Crest trail. I have also paced my sister at the Seattle Marathon for nine years running (pun intended)! These experiences are worth more than anything.
Any races or adventures on your horizon and / or bucket list?
When I started running the goal was always to enter UTMB (Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc). This was only confirmed when I ran the Eiger Ultra Trail 100k in 2016 and got to experience European racing for the first time. It was amazing! I'd like nothing more than to participate in the Super Bowl of ultra trail running.
Your favorite PATH projects gear?
My first PATH projects purchase was a pair of the Sykes PX 7" shorts and it's still my favorite. I love the light material which dries super fast and they have just enough stretch to move freely and I never notice them while running. The three zippered pockets are out of the way and big enough to hold most of the things I want to keep handy including my gloves when I warm up on those chilly early morning spring and fall runs. I pair these with a thin liner in the summer and a thicker one in the spring and fall. The 7" length seems perfect with either the 5" or 8" liner.
What do you enjoy about running?
I love trails! For the same reason that I love mountain biking or gravel riding, trail running keeps me in nature. Plus, the feeling of accomplishment when you look down from a summit is awesome and addicting.
Advice for runners looking to improve?
If you are brand new to running, take it slow. Consistency is worth way more than any one big run or workout. I learned that lesson the hard way by ramping up my miles too fast when I started, you need to give your body and joints and ligaments time to adapt to the stresses and impact of running. If you have already been running for some time and are looking to up your game, consider hiring a coach. As much as many of us want to believe we can be objective about our own training it's VERY hard and delegating the responsibility of planning your workouts can be liberating. Lastly, if you have been running with lots of structure and are feeling like you lack motivation, try turning off the watch/phone and just running when you really want to. Find the joy and remember why you started running in the first place. Doing something because you want to and not because someone else told you to is much more sustainable.
Social channels you are most active on?
Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Strava.
Anything else you’d like to share?
It has taken me years to dial in my race nutrition, gear, shoes, etc. It's been so great to add PATH projects to this list of things I can count on that won't let me down. The more my equipment just "works", the more I can enjoy what I am doing.
Any running video?
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